Disney just announced it will pause its vaccine mandate for employees in the Sunshine State. This comes just two days after Governor Ron DeSantis signed a quartet of bills related to the COVID-19 vaccine and subsequent mandates into law on Thursday.
Per The Orlando Sentinel, the decision by the House of Mouse comes in response to the latest restrictions that were passed by the Florida legislature this week, which put limitations on the power of Florida employers when it comes to requiring employees to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.
On Friday, The Walt Disney Company sent a memo to Cast Members, informing them that Disney was taking this action immediately because of the new law. The memo also said that an appeal court’s temporary delay of certain federal guidelines related to COVID vaccinations from OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, had also prompted the company’s immediate actions to pause its vaccine mandates.
Part of the memo reads: “We remain confident in the approach we have taken with our mandatory vaccine policy for Florida-based Cast Members and employees, with more than 90% of our active Florida-based Cast members and employees having verified that they are fully vaccinated, and we consider this to be very successful.”
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The memo, which was sent to Florida employees of Disney, the largest private employer in the state, further explained that Disney would require every employee to wear face coverings, practice social distancing and take other measures in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19 if they had not yet verified that they are vaccinated.
In addition to putting the breaks on its company vaccine mandate, Disney is also taking a break on the consideration of requests from employees for exemption from taking the vaccine. During the pause related to new legislation, Disney says it will also deem employees “unvaccinated,” if they had not yet completed the vaccination verification process.
News about Florida’s new anti-mandate legislation continues to develop, and we will follow changes and update our readers as they are announced.